ONLINEXTRA: Local players in draft

By Gregg Ellis
Daily Journal

Prior to the start of Thursday's MLB draft, Mississippi State catcher Ed Easley said his focus was the super regional against Clemson.

Of course, he admitted the draft was on his mind,
but he wasn't spending much time thinking about it with so much at stake this weekend.

Fortunately for the former Olive Branch standout, he didn't have to wait long for his future to be determined.

The 2007 Ferriss Award winner and Johnny Bench Award finalist was selected as the 61st overall pick in the supplemental first-round by Arizona.

Easley, a second-team Louisville Slugger All-American, has caught everyone of State's games and is currently hitting .367 with a team-high 12 home runs.

He's also thrown out an SEC-best 28 base stealers.

Four picks later, Tupelo's Will Kline was drafted by Tampa Bay.

The Ole Miss ace is 7-2 with a 3.72 ERA. In 116 innings of work, he's thrown 127 strikeouts, while opponents are batting just .234 against him.

He'll be the starter on Saturday when the Rebels open their super regional at Arizona State.

Rebels shortstop Zack Cozart was the 79th pick by the Cincinnati Reds. He is batting .304 with 5 home runs and 44 RBI. Cozart is second on the team with 15 stolen bases out of 20 attempts. He has a fielding percentage of .967.